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Downhill walking

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 aleakyboat 06 Jul 2019

Hi, apologies if this is on the wrong forum as I’m new to it. I would be grateful if anyone could give a little advice. My mother seems to be experiencing difficulties with downhill walking, I know it’s much harder on certain joints, what has happened on walks up Snowdon and Pen Y Fan is after so long of walking downhill her lower back starts to hurt, progressing to her leaning backwards and becoming very difficult to stay upright. She has climbed Kilimanjaro and only suffered this problem towards the very end- I don’t know whether her technique is wrong? Thank you in advance for any advice, much appreciated.

In reply to aleakyboat:

Is she wearing a pack/rucksac? And if so is it correctly fitted?

 SouthernSteve 06 Jul 2019
In reply to aleakyboat:

Really difficult to be specific. Core exercises to strengthen the back and glutes might help, but I would get your mum to see a physio for some specific advice.

 Eric9Points 06 Jul 2019
In reply to aleakyboat:

How old is your mother? Is she overweight? Is she fit?

In reply to aleakyboat:

Does she use walking poles? If so does she change their length (longer downhill)?

 Billhook 07 Jul 2019
In reply to aleakyboat:

High Heels are not recommended for hill walking.  

Tell her to buy a pair of boots.

Post edited at 06:29
 aleakyboat 07 Jul 2019
In reply to SouthernSteve:

Thanks, I think physio advice is the way forward. Mum is 70 and quite fit, she successfully climbed Kilimanjaro recently so she has very good walking boots, poles etc She had this balance issue only towards the end of the last day of 2 days downhill on that trip, I did wonder if her lower back may actually be the problem. But thanks, physio it is. Just didn’t know if this was a common problem! No issues uphill at all. Thank you.

 tlouth7 08 Jul 2019
In reply to aleakyboat:

My mum struggles but is not very fit. She is quite short so on rock staircases I guess the steps are bigger for her. Generally she ends up turning sideways.

My girlfriend finds it hard going on her knees compared to uphill or horizontal walking, so she avoids carrying any weight when hiking (I don't mind, honest). Poles definitely help for this by reducing the load on her legs, and I guess improving control/balance.

Not sure how much that helps you, I guess it suggests that downhill walking issues are fairly common. Good luck!

Post edited at 09:28
 benp1 09 Jul 2019
In reply to aleakyboat:

On big walks the descending is what kills me. The impact on my legs and joints is hard, i use a walking pole to help with that. I have a pair and a single, I usually take the single as it's small and light, but in her case a pair might be better

By big walks I mean multi peak or alpine mountain type stuff

In reply to benp1:

I actually prefer to jog down long hills, as I find it easier on the knees and muscles. You do need to concentrate on where you are going to put your feet, and take lots of little steps. Used the technique quite a bit on the TMB (especially the Contamines-Mottets stage).

Post edited at 16:58

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